Book Launch, Conversation

31 May 2017, 18.30

Book Launch of Former West: Art and the Contemporary After 1989

A conversation with Maria Hlavajova, Suhail Malik, Irit Rogoff, Simon Sheikh, and Marina Vishmidt

Design: Mevis & Van Deursen. The book cover features a detail of the artwork by Július Koller, Question Mark Cultural Situation (U.F.O.), 1992, white latex on ready-made textile, collection mumok, Vienna, courtesy of Július Koller Society, Bratislava and mumok, Vienna

On Wednesday 31 May 2017 is the London launch of Former West: Art and the Contemporary After 1989, a book edited by Maria Hlavajova and Simon Sheikh and published by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst and MIT Press. The book launch takes place at 18.30 hrs in Studio A, Barriedale Building, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London SE14 6NW.

To launch the publication, the editors Maria Hlavajova and Simon Sheikh engage in a conversation with Goldsmiths’-based contributors to the book—Suhail Malik, Irit Rogoff, and Marina Vishmidt—to discuss the proposition of the publication to “former” the west as a way of undoing westcentrism in the resilient economic, technological, political, and epistemological infrastructure of power and domination.

Former West: Art and the Contemporary After 1989 has been published in the context of the curatorial and artistic research experiment FORMER WEST (2008–2016), developed by BAK and realized through manifold partnerships with artists, theorists, activists, as well as art and educational institutions transnationally. Leading up to this publication, a series of public editorial meetings has been held, including at Goldsmiths, University of London, London in 2015, in which themes, contributions, and propositions for this publication have been considered in dialogue with the public.

The volume explores with and through art the social, cultural, politico-economic, technological, and ecological repercussions of the end of the Cold War on the contemporary. In a nod to a supposed counterpart, the “former east,” the book proposes to “former” the west as a way of resisting the west’s continued coloniality, and appeals to art’s critical potential for thinking and living through alternatives.

The conversation is being followed by a drinks reception.

At the event the book is being sold at a discounted price of £25 (instead of £33).

For more information contact: [email protected]

Former West: Art and the Contemporary After 1989 is edited by Maria Hlavajova and Simon Sheikh. Published by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst and MIT Press, 2016 | Design by Mevis & Van Deursen, Amsterdam | English language | 748 pages | Paperback | ISBN: 9780262533836

The publication is out now and can be ordered via MIT Press.

Suggestions from the archive

Exhibition

10 March 2019–05 January 2020

BAK, basis voor…

In the series BAK, basis voor…, BAK joins forces with other organizations in addressing shared urgencies and developing propositions for “being together otherwise.” The series is part of the preparatory phase of the forthcoming project Trainings for the Not-Yet, organized by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk and BAK from September 2019–January 2020.

Exhibition Project

14 September 2019–05 January 2020

Trainings for the Not-Yet

Together with artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst presents the project Trainings for the Not-Yet, starting September 2019. The project consists of an exhibition as a series of “community learnings,” performative workshops, artworks, learning objects, and conversations. In the framework of this project, intensive collaborations with (inter)national artists, theorists, and activists take place, as well as collaborations with initiatives and communities based (mainly) in Utrecht.

Education Program

23 September–28 October 2019

Course: Art and Politics (BAK Public Studies)

From 23 September until 28 October 2019, BAK organizes the course “Art and Politics.” In six weekly sessions, the participants learn about how contemporary art relates to the political in an accessible way. The course is taught by Maria Hlavajova, BAK’s general and artistic director. Deadline for registrations: 17 September 2019.